Flag football tournament begins


Nick Shapiro

Two players run after an opposing player with the ball to pull his flag on Dec. 4 on the RCMS field.

Drew Levin and Nick Shapiro

Recent gym classes at RCMS have been filled with action-packed games of flag football. The seventh-graders of Rachel Carson have been going at it in the recent P.E. flag football tournament.

Flag football is a sport, often played to avoid the dangers of tackle football. Here at Carson, every fall, the seventh-graders participate in a flag football tournament during gym class.

The Rachel Carson gym teachers started this tournament two years ago, and since then there has been an annual occurrence at the start of the fall. The tournament is a round robin tournament.

The teachers form teams of seventh-graders trying to make the teams as even as possible based off of surveys about the students’ ability and experience.

“I think there are very diverse skill levels, but our team’s goal is just to get better,” said Cole Faircloth, 13, of the Legacy team. Cole is the captain for his flag football team and has lots of experience playing in organized leagues.

Due to the very rainy month of November, the football tournament has been on hold. With the weather getting colder outside this fall and winter, the teachers have been having the students play indoor flag football. This is a new challenge for the teachers to run.

With so many students and teams, the teachers needed to come up with a rotation that would still allow everyone to play evenly. With this roadblock, the teachers introduced indoor one-down flag football. In this version of the sport, each team gets one possession of one down. This makes it very difficult to score, resulting in a lot of ties. On Thursday, Nov. 29, the second-period gym class had only four games not end in ties.

Ms. Peterson, one of the P.E. teachers here at Carson, is a big fan of the flag football tournament. She enjoys watching all the games outside on top of the hill where she can see all the games happening at once.

Ms. Peterson always starts the tournament in the fall. “It gets everyone excited for the football season,” she said.

The seventh-graders at Rachel Carson have been participating in the tournament despite the cold weather. Cole talked about how fun it is to get to play so much and not be eliminated. Some students, on the other hand, think the tournament should go a different way then just a round robin.

“I think the tournament should be a single elimination,” said Philip Tetreault, 12, of the Majestic team. The teachers make it a round robin tournament so that everyone gets a chance to play equally and no one’s left out.

For the two years this tournament has been going on, there have been some traditions that the school has kept up with. Both years that the tournament has been played, it’s been a round robin tournament near the start of the school year. Also, last year, there was a staff vs. student flag football game. We’ve yet to hear whether or not there will be a staff vs. student flag football game this year, but many students are hoping that the gym teachers can make this into a tradition as well.

During the beginning play of the tournament, two students bumped heads while playing in one of their flag football games. It’s important to know about the dangers and how to avoid them during flag football. One thing the teachers are very reminding of is to not throw the flag if you pull an opponent’s flag. If you throw the flag, the hard plastic part could hit someone and injure them. To stay safe, simply just drop the flag down after pulling it.